Automated testing is becoming increasingly important to organizations
08 November, 2022
The efforts put toward the digital transformation of businesses, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years, have led to a boom in application development and the increasing value placed on its quality, causing organizations to change their view on testing and quality standards. The field of Software Testing and Quality Assurance is currently one of the most important in the software development lifecycle.
According to the World Quality Report 2022, ensuring quality has become more critical than ever for organizations. In this study, the 1,750 Chief Information Officers and IT Executives surveyed emphasized the value of testing more than ever before, as well as the onward march toward business digitization that ensures quality and a perfect customer experience, which is of the utmost priority.
Today, more than ever, software buyers are looking for the fastest solution possible and have less tolerance for quality issues, changing the paradigm when it comes to testing and delivery quality. In 2022, it is unthinkable to build software without considering quality and testing. However, in a traditional waterfall software development model, testing is at the end of the process, and it is common to reduce testing time to deliver faster (or to absorb delays), increasing the risk of problems in the production environment and potentially compromising the customer’s business objectives.
Thus, the report indicates that combining Agile development with DevOps and automated testing can better meet business priorities, resulting in faster software development without sacrificing delivery quality.
Automated testing is not a new topic; it has been around for over 20 years, and its emergence was seen as a nail in the coffin of manual testing. But let’s take a practical example: By testing the entire source code of a software with unit tests (e.g. validating all functions of the source code), can we guarantee that the software will have the correct end-to-end functional behavior? Based on experience, we can say no. Furthermore, we also need to automate the connection between the different parts that make up the software. Can we automate things like usability? Hardly. Automatically validating colors or the content of a PDF document with dynamic text are challenges that are so complex that the return on investment is simply not worth the cost of manual testing.
The role of the tester has also evolved with technology. Automated test execution has gradually taken on an increasingly important role in the QA team of organizations, allowing for test cases to be repeated effortlessly and reducing the execution time of complex tests, thus eliminating time as a limiting factor in the scope of testing performed. It also eliminates human interaction errors and increases test coverage and data collection. Today's increasingly powerful automation tools make test automation a simpler process and are an increasingly safe investment for organizations.
It is expected that there will be increased use of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning technologies throughout the whole Quality Assurance process and activities. Artificial Intelligence is a great advanced option to solve unique and challenging problems, such as reducing the time to read large logs and test data or self-maintaining and fixing issues in testing. AI will therefore enable the use of advanced features to support quality assurance teams.
The use of these technologies will enrich the role of software testers, as it will gradually become more technical than before, but will facilitate and improve the work of software testers. Their widespread use will trigger the demand for professionals who, in addition to knowing the various testing methodologies and practices, also have knowledge of the development lifecycle in a DevOps environment, of programming and scripting, and of the various automation tools available. It is therefore essential that organizations recognize the growing importance of software testing and implement it throughout the development process of a new product.
Article published on COMPUTERWORLD on November 8, 2022